AFC Wimbledon 0-0 Wycombe Wanderers
Neal Ardley reached boiling on Saturday after referee Trevor Kettle ruled out a Craig Tanner header and denied AFC Wimbledon a penalty in the stalemate with Wycombe Wanderers.
The Dons are now unbeaten in nine games at Kingsmeadow having over-run third place Wycombe, who finished the game with 10 men, but they will feel hard done by the draw.
Despite Wimbledon’s valiant efforts, Ardley felt that once again the result hinged on a number of refereeing errors as Tanner’s goal was disallowed and a foul on Adebayo Akinfenwa in the box was not given.
The Dons’ boss said: “It was the most blatant penalty you will ever see. It has been a constant theme throughout the season that there has been disappointment at the standard of officials. It has not been good enough.
“For the disallowed goal, I don’t think anyone could watch it and tell me who was fouling. Both players were holding on to each other and it was disallowed.
“These are two key decisions that are out of our hands.”
Ardley was however pleased with his men after they largely dominated the tie against high-flying Wycombe, who beat the Dons 2-0 in October last year.
Akinfenwa was denied by the woodwork early on as he met Sean Rigg’s cross with a powerful header which left visiting keeper Matt Ingram no hope.
And despite Wimbledon’s strong first-half showing, a depleted Wycombe side – managed by Ardley’s former team-mate Gareth Ainsworth – were only breached after the break.
Tanner ran on to to an Akinfenwa flick and calmly headed in only for referee Kettle to blow for an apparent infringement and disallow the goal.
And when ‘the Beast’ was fouled inside the penalty area only for Kettle to wave play on, Ardley became incensed at the Dons’ bad luck with officials.
Ardley said: “On another day with a better referee we could have won the game 1-0 or 2-0. James Shea told me he did not have a save to make all game, I thought we were really good at times.
“It was the same old story from us in that we lacked that little bit of quality and nous in the final third to finish off chances.
“Considering we got back at 5.00am on Wednesday morning from Plymouth, the energy, effort and commitment from the players was phenomenal.
“I think we have been the better team in the majority of the games that we have played recently.”
Feature image of Neal Ardley, courtesy of AFC Wimbledon TV via Youtube, with thanks